Review: 2000 AD - Prog 1964

Sexton and O'Grady's work on Dredd is something to behold, as ABC Warriors has a Bladerunner moment. One of the best things about the Progs is the willingness of creators to blend violent sci-fi realities with cheeky humor.  Case in point: the very first page of ABC Warriors this week is a very metallic, intentionally corny homage to one of the most memorable deaths in cinema.  This title continues to be a great mix of humor and a really detailed exploration of a world turned nearly entirely robotic.

2000-AD-Prog-1964-1Things are gearing up in The Order as we find out more about some Order members with whom we weren't previously acquainted.  It's seeming like we'll be getting back to some of the older characters soon, and now that the Order is on the scene, Burns has been freed up to use his old-school painting style to juxtapose anachronisms again.  This week features a motorcycle across a backdrop of men on horses: it's really a sight to see, especially with Burns' style.  Kek-W occasionally scripts these moments in cliche action sequences to add to the anachronisms that the Order present in their time period.  A great example in this chapter is that same motorcycle suspended in mid-air as it jumps off the dock into a vote.  Very 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Then, there's "Ghosts," the current Dredd arc.  I spoke last week about the great job that Sexton (line artist) and O'Grady (colors) are doing on this title, and this week continues to impress.  Most of what grabbed me last week was the visual sense of style that the two were setting up for their run: O'Grady's colors were vibrant and Sexton's lines were clean, with the requisite blemishes and tangled mechanisms for depicting life in the Meg.  This week was much more action packed--probably one of the most shooty chapters in recent memory--and boy did that action work in the sequentials.

The generous overlay of panels on the scene was reminiscent of Flint's style of layouts, but Sexton opts to play the panels much more straightforward.  Given the more straightforward approach of his artwork, this works.  The action flows smoothly and the reader always has  a sense both of where they are and what the most significant thing that happened on the page was.  Sexton's eye for both the details of a scene and the angles at which the action occurs are his strongsuit, and really shine in this chapter where the angle of a gunshot means everything.  O'Grady's does nothing to drag his partner down, and in fact continues to augment the line art by keeping his palette diverse while exercising restraint when necessary.  Colors make the action pop when necessary, but never overwhelm the unity belonging to any particular given page.

Kingdom is growing on me, and Strontium Dog continues to be excellent, making the Progs a solid read right now.

Score: 4/5

2000 AD – Prog 1964 Writers: Various Artist: Various Publisher: Rebellion Price: £2.55 Print / £1.99 Digital Release Date: 1/20/16 Format: Weekly; Print/Digital